In what’s being heralded as a significant victory for President Trump, the GOP’s healthcare bill (which will likely have significant effects on you) has narrowly passed the 216 House threshold needed to advance the bill to the Senate. Per the live C-SPAN feed, the vote landed at 217-213.
Although it’s questionable whether the bill will pass in the Senate (there’s still no CBO analysis of the bill), this victory stands in contrast to the House GOP’s last disastrous attempt, which ended in House Speaker Paul Ryan (or Trump) pulling the Trumpcare bill just minutes before scheduled vote. Yet Ryan, who has dreamed of slashing Medicaid since he was a frat boy, didn’t lose sight of his ultimate goal.
The Washington Post reveals that White House aides felt the pressure as the day began while texting “game day” at each other. Ryan delivered this pep talk on the House floor just prior to the vote:
“This bill delivers on the promises that we have made to the American people. You know, a lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote — to repeal and replace Obamacare, to rescue people from this collapsing law. Are we going to meet this test? Are we going to be men and women of our word?”
Molly Hopper of the The Hill noted the celebratory atmosphere in the White House immediately following the passage. Reince Priebus told Hopper, “The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone.”
Many critics noted that the new bill’s changes made the plan less appealing to Democrats. For example and on Thursday morning, an addendum surfaced that will allow allow employers to gut coverage for essential services. This would potentially prevent people from seeking help for many health catastrophes, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health, and pediatric services. Nonetheless and despite many other red flags and clouds of ambiguity, the bill has passed the first threshold to success.